South African telescope detects Powerful space laser

South African telescope detects Powerful space laser

South African telescope detects Powerful space laser
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Astronomers have discovered a strong radio wave laser in space known as a megamaser.

 

At 5 billion light-years from Earth, this record-breaking megamaser is the furthest one ever seen.

This space laser’s light travelled a staggering 36 trillion billion miles (58 trillion billion kilometers) to reach our planet.

Using the MeerKAT telescope at the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, a multinational team of scientists lead by Marcin Glowacki saw this light. (Karoo Array Telescope is abbreviated as MeerKAT, with the Afrikaans word “more” preceding it.)

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Megamaser are created when two galaxies crash into each other. It is the first hydroxyl megamaser that MeerKAT has observed, Glowacki said.

Glowacki is a research associate at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research’s Curtin University node in Australia.

Galaxy mergers include hydroxyl, a chemical group made up of one hydrogen atom and one oxygen atom.

“When galaxies collide, the gas they contain becomes extremely dense and can trigger concentrated beams of light to shoot out,” Glowacki said in a statement.

The laser was assigned the name “Nkalakatha” by the study team, which means “big boss” in isiZulu, the Zulus’ Bantu language.

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